Trading Day

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Had a really good lesson this afternoon so thought I’d share! It was my colleague who came up with it so I don’t take credit for the idea by any means, but I had a lot of fun teaching it!

The children were organised into 5 groups (I did this with the Virtual Hat). Their tables were totally cleared. Each group was given a folder and clear instructions.

“You can only use the equipment on your tables. You get 1 counter for making a white square with sides 5.5cm by 5.5cm. You get 2 counters for making a coloured circle with diameter 7cm. You must work in your groups.”

However, when they opened the folders, some of them only had scissors, compasses and counters, others had paper but no scissors or pencils. Oh no! At first they didn’t know what to do. They told me they didn’t have what they needed. I said “Oh no, what are you going to do?!” They tried creative techniques – drawing with a compass point, scoring with scissors, etc. Then eventually one person said “Can we get things from other people’s tables?” “I said “If they let you!”

So it began! At first the groups were very kind – giving away their things for free to the other groups. Then they realised that they would have to trade! I was very strict as well – a square with one 5.4cm side? No counters! It was a very exciting lesson and the children really enjoyed it. I think it also taught them a lot about trading and the value of things – towards the end of the lesson, paper was in short supply and people were prepared to swap a few counters for a sheet of paper, so we talked about how this is reflected in real life when things are scarce and their value rises.

All in all, it was a great end to the day. In the last five minutes, I gave out the envelopes with TOP SECRET – DO NOT OPEN UNTIL THURSDAY MORNING stamped on them for tomorrow’s activity – the children are TOTALLY intrigued and excited!

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5 responses »

  1. Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! I have just come back from a governors meeting where we are banging our heads against brick walls to get any sign of enthusiasm from any staff or the head. This was just what I needed!
    Please can I join your class?!! šŸ™‚

  2. I am a PGCE student and this is one of the best and most inspiring teaching blogs I have read. Your classroom sounds like an amazing place to be!

  3. I’ve been off the beaten track for the last week or so, so I’m just catching up on things. I think this is a brilliant lesson! In particular I love the fact that there is some great maths going on, but it is masked by the life skills learning. Another lesson which I’m sure will live in the memories of the children in your class. Thanks for sharing! (should we all be offering you some counters?)

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